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Elinor Wylie (Элинор Уайли)

The Fairy Goldsmith

Here’s a wonderful thing, 
A humming-bird’s wing 
In hammered gold, 
And store well chosen 
Of snowflakes frozen 
In crystal cold.

Black onyx cherries 
And mistletoe berries 
Of chrysoprase, 
Jade buds, tight shut, 
All carven and cut 
In intricate ways.

Here, if you please 
Are little gilt bees 
In amber drops 
Which look like honey, 
Translucent and sunny, 
From clover-tops.

Here’s an elfin girl 
Of mother-of-pearl 
And moonshine made, 
With tortise-shell hair 
Both dusky and fair 
In its light and shade.

Here’s lacquer laid thin, 
Like a scarlet skin 
On an ivory fruit; 
And a filigree frost 
Of frail notes lost 
From a fairy lute.

Here’s a turquoise chain 
Of sun-shower rain 
To wear if you wish; 
And glittering green 
With aquamarine, 
A silvery fish.

Here are pearls all strung 
On a thread among 
Pretty pink shells; 
And bubbles blown 
From the opal stone 
Which ring like bells.

Touch them and take them, 
But do not break them! 
Beneath your hand 
They will wither like foam 
If you carry them home 
Out of fairy-lannd.

O, they never can last 
Though you hide them fast 
From moth and from rust; 
In your monstrous day 
They will crumble away 
Into quicksilver dust.

Elinor Wylie's other poems:
  1. The Lost Path
  2. Escape
  3. Nadir
  4. Quarrel
  5. Winter Sleep

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